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Sunday, March 29, 2020


My plate was already full. I suspended posting here as I devoted my energies to organizations I adore and to writing. Something had to give, so my sporadic posts of random thoughts gave way.

Then COVID hit.

You might think by my posting this now, that I'm only just tuning in. You're wrong. I was once a biopharmaceutical recruiter. My clients were spread across the U.S., but many were in China. My connections and travels there made me fascinated with that country. I wrote about talent trends for Bloomberg/Businessweek and Nature. I've continued to stay aware of news involving China, especially if it involved new therapies or illnesses.

In December, I heard mentions of an outbreak. I didn't pay attention to it as our news often mentions exotic illnesses in foreign countries. I felt that China's experience with SARS would make them adept at a response. No worries.

The Great Wall
In January, I was stunned to hear a city of 11 million people was shut down. I knew then that we were in for trouble. I waited to see what the U.S. response would be. If a soccer-mom-turned-suspense-author-living-in-a-small-town knew enough that early and definitive actions were needed, I assumed our leaders knew that as well. My husband and I began to share our concerns. Our periscopes went up.

In February, around Valentine's Day, my husband shared a website created by a friend of his. The website was not an extremist prepper site. It was written in my language. Measured. Factual. Serious. Balanced. We spent an hour or more reviewing boots-on-the-ground videos from Wuhan. The videos have since disappeared, but they were enough to have us begin gathering supplies the next day.

Bread and chicken were already sold out. I watched a mom, toddler and kids in tow, consider a twenty pound bag of rice then hoist a fifty pound bag into her cart. I marveled at the signs that admonished us to take only one bag per customer. A man, wearing nitrile gloves, joked about the coming Armageddon.

Still, I thought if regular folks were taking action, surely our country was far ahead of us. Our country shows signs of waking up now. It is the end of March. Our illness and death numbers today will look quaint in merely a week's time.

I cannot express how angry I am. I am heartbroken. I am frustrated. I am incredulous. I am livid.

Make that, I am CO-liVID.

There are enough voices of disgust in our current leadership and I don't like to add to the noise, regardless of how deserving a good rant may be. During the same period of time I was taking action, leaders in our country did not. This article from the U.K. points out the folly of their stillness.

I have family who have contracted and recovered from COVID-19. Their tales are sobering.

Today, a friend in New York posted the deaths of three of his friends to the virus.

Three. In one day.

The hollowness I feel about the wave of preventable deaths is at risk of being filled with ugly emotions. I do not want to blame or denigrate those who trusted and followed leadership when facts and science would have led them elsewhere. Banning together during a crisis will make us stronger and it is the stuff of what makes America great.

The buck does stop somewhere, even if the occupant refuses responsibility.

My author events have been canceled or gone digital. I'm helping our elderly moms understand the wonders of video chatting. I am checking in on friends and family and offering what little help I can, even if it's just a shared laugh.

This post helped me vent my rage and provided a salve to feeling impotent. Maybe virtually banning together might help you feel less isolated. I've started a hashtag on Twitter. #COliVID. Vent. Consider it your primal scream.

And, please, stay safe. I care about you.